Our little house is much bigger than you would think from the city sidewalk, busy sidewalk out front. This is as it should be. You alight at the modest front door and look up at this charming, old box of a place, hidden from the road behind a thick wall of Yews. We prefer to keep a sleepy, low profile. There Christmas Eve will find you, where the lovelight gleams and I will swing open that tiny door when you rap. Been hoping that you’d drop in.
I would ask you to kick off the snow and come in, but what’s a little snow among faithful friends who are dear to us? On entering you will find an unexpected coved ceiling and other telltale 40s gems like the original linoleum kitchen floor. Did I say telltale–because if you show even a smidge of interest, I will tellall about this World War II girl.
In the dream our small rooms are filled with warm, friendly faces, frankincense and pine are in the air. And there in the front room, you would find Mr. Cassette sitting on the floor like a child, stacking the hearthplace with logs and these tiny kindling sticks that he is crazy for.
I hope the twinkling of lights on the mantel catches your eye–amidst my collection of foxes and bear and deer and flocked Fuller Brush trees, as my mother calls them. Nothing fancy here. I’d like to know how you are tonight and kick your cares down the stairs. Strings of woolen snowflakes dip and bow and the taller among you may have to do the same.
My aim is to play every single Perry Como Christmas song, the good, 1940s stuff and of course Louis and Ella and even some Bing. Put some records on while I pour. Our detective gang will laugh with old and new friends. I am dreaming of a White Christmas, you see, just like the ones we used to know. You might even be introduced to a game of string if the kittens brave the crowd.
Mr. Cassette will serve chicken and barley soup or Paleo pancakes with fennel sausage. Cheese plates and baguette from Buvette, because they make the best around, will teeter on every flat surface. Oh my…Later on we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire, while some of us drink wine or a bitter—your preferred holiday flavor is more dry Martini but I’ll make coffee too. Here we are as in olden days. We’ll share our obsessions and our memories and our wonderful plans for the New Year.
Until then, I’ll be seeing you in all the old, familiar places that this hearts of mine embraces. To all of my detective friends, Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas to you!! Chag Sameach and a Special Christmas Wish from Miss Cassette.
The beautiful 5121 Cuming Street.
Dundee Barber at 103 North 50th Street
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La Buvette Wine & Grocery at 511 South 11th Street
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